Maine Coon: Everything you've ever wanted to know

Maine Coons: who among us can resist the charm of this lion-like animal? Over the past 20 years, it has become the most popular cat breed in the world over — and it’s not for no reason.

Origins and background
As you may guess from the many legends and stories surrounding its origins, nobody really knows where the Maine Coon came from. It’s the only cat native to North America that originated in its namesake state of Maine. At the time, it was believed the breed was the result of a mating between a cat and a raccoon (hence the ‘Coon’ in its name), but we now know that this mating is genetically impossible.

One legend ties the Maine Coon to Marie-Antoinette, the last Queen of France. According to historical documents, before the royal couple was captured by French revolutionaries, the Queen was planning to escape on a boat belonging to Captain Samuel Clough. That evening, the Captain, saw the royal couple cast off for America with the Queen’s personal belongings in tow — including her Persian cats. Upon their arrival, the cats are said to have mated with large wild cats, and the Maine Coon was thus born.

The true story is probably much less romantic, and most likely linked to the arrival of domestic cats in North America and their use in hunting rats and insects in the holds of merchant ships. Upon arriving in the port of Maine, the cats came and went in the cold, gorging on the largest specimens of vermin found on the continent. Maine Coons are therefore linked to the evolution of the European shorthair cat in their quest to adapt to this environment

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Physical appearance

  • Weight varies greatly between male and female Maine Coons. Males can weigh between 15 and 20 pounds and can reach up to 30! The average weight for females is 12 pounds.
  • Maine Coons come in almost any colour, but brown striped (or brown tabby) is the most common.
  • Their hair is long and their tail enormous and majestic.
  • Their morphology is rectangular, giving them their lionesque appearance.
  • They are a rare breed with hair on the tips of their ears, similar to the lynx.


  • Maine Coons’ fur requires constant cleaning to avoid knots.
  • It is recommended that you groom them once or twice a week during sloughing.

We recommend that your cat become used to brushing very early in life, and that includes the tail! Employing the various methods of positive reinforcement is highly important for this breed of cat, because negotiating with an uncooperative Maine Coon is no walk in the park. You can master this technique by consulting a specialist in feline behaviour, such as the l’Éduchateur.

maine coon

The ideal family for a Maine Coon
As our feline behaviour collaborator, l’Éduchateur Daniel Filion, often says, there aren’t many behavioural differences between cat breeds. The Maine Coon has no behavioural traits specific to its race. Some cats are highly active, others very calm.

If you’re considering taking a Maine Coon into your home, you must take into account their size. Males can become heavy and difficult to carry for an older person. Furthermore, they are known to drop objects from higher floors as they make their way around. For this reason, in order to guarantee safety, and comfort for kitty, litter boxes, toys, cushions and cat trees must be designed according to the cat’s size.

Did you know?
Among cats, Maine Coons hold all the records for length. The longest natural domestic cat in the world is Ludo — a Maine Coon measuring 3 feet 9 inches. The longest tail among domestic cats also belongs to a Maine Coon, and it’s 44cm long! In closing, Maine Coons are magnificent cats of an unusually large stature. If you think you might want one in your home, it’s best to know exactly what you’re in for!

Take care of your Maine Coon: